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How to Get Rid Of Gnats Outside


Gnats are wretched little parts of our lives that come invading our peace and calm, and enjoy doing it tremendously. Their peskiness is not limited to us or our house -- as a matter of fact, they even attack our well cared-for plants and are often found infesting our backyards. Unfortunately, while they cause immense discomfort, they are highly common. Fortunately, they are not invincible. With some smart hacks and knacks, we can send these gnats on a run from our backyards.

Since you never know when a horde of gnats is planning an attack on your garden, it’s smart that you always keep some gnat-killing tricks in your mind so that as soon as they dare to invade your garden and yard, they would know that they have met their match.

But before you initiate your gnat removal operation, you need to learn about your enemy first.  

Things We Should Know About Gnats  

Gnats are extremely small in size yet awfully large with the trouble they cause. Not only do they occasionally bite, but also feed on plant roots. In extreme infestations, the larvae even end up killing the plants with their belligerent feeding habits and have a knack for spreading diseases. Gnats should be treated the second they are seen, if left to their own devices and allowed to grow and feed, they’ll grow rapidly and begin breeding inside and outside your house.

Gnats have two wings and resemble closely with mosquitoes. Leaving gnats untreated in the house or in the yard is a gaffe because they don’t take much time to produce larvae and multiply in numbers. Since they are weak fliers, they infuriate us human beings even more than flies and mosquitoes do.

Getting Rid of Gnats Outdoorsfogging spray

Now that we have established the fact that getting rid of gnats is obligatory, let’s learn how.

  • Fogging

Getting rid of gnats outdoor is slightly trickier than getting rid of it indoors. Gnats in the garden means we’ll have to resort to measures that will cover a wider area and fogging has proved to be one of the most effective methods of doing so. You can buy these foggers from store or you can make one of your own at home.

Using pesticides such as an aerosol space spray like CB-PCO Insect Fogger can work excellently to control indoor gnats and leave a great residual that will keep on killing gnats long after the initial application.


Set up a trap such as the Musca-Stik to capture gnats. You can also use electrical insect traps such as the Mantis Flylight 1x2 or the Vector Classic Flylight which work great to catch and eliminate gnats that are flying around outside.

  • Vanilla spray

Vanilla functions as a natural repellant for gnats. Given, it has to be 100% pure without any sugar or corn syrup mixed into it.  To prepare the spray, you’ll need to add four tablespoon of vanilla with four cups of water in a spray bottle, shake and then squirt it around in the garden. The repellant is temporary but it works.

  • Plant the Repellant

Citronella plant acts as a great repellant both inside and outside the house; you can simply plant the herb in your garden and keep the gnats away.

  • Vinegar Trap

Since we always have a bottle full of apple cider vinegar in our houses, this is the go-to solution to get rid of gnat infestation. To prepare a vinegar trap for outdoors, you’ll need to get a jar and apple cider vinegar (or simple vinegar with dissolved sugar) dish soap and water. Since we’ll be covering wider area, it would be best to prepare two to three jars in order to cover all sides of the yards.  

To prepare this trap, pour two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, one drop of dish soap and 4 cups of water. Mix the solution well and then place these jars around the yard. The gnats will instantly get drawn to the sweet aroma of the vinegar and once they do, they’ll instantly drown to their death because of the soap.

  • Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes help in establishing good growth conditions for the plants in the garden. Similarly, they also help with gnat control and are one of the few methods that provide a permanent solution for it.   

  • Clean up

Another effective method of getting rid of gnats outside once and for all is to give the garden a good clean-up. If the gnats are thriving in your garden at the moment, it means they are provided ideal conditions. In order to change that, you need to conduct an elaborate clean-out session. Make sure that once the plants are watered, the soil is completely dry with no remains of logged water anywhere.  The lesser moisture there is the more chances of gnats to deteriorate. Also, get rid of all the decaying organic materials and dead plants and leaves lying around in the garden. Peat moss beds also attract swarms of gnats so avoid using it during the gnat season.

Preventing the Invasion of Gnats

Using the above methods, you might have successfully eradicated the gnats from your garden. But the story does not end there. If you are not careful with your prevention strategies, they’ll come back.

Here’s what you do about keeping these pesky pests away from your garden.

  • Whenever you trim your garden, collect all the fallen leaves and throw it away as soon as possible.

  • Water your plants in a way that the water is not logged or left anywhere.

  • Don’t leave dirty garden supplies in the garden. As soon as you are done, wash it, dry it and put it away.

  • Trash cans near your house should be kept covered all at times and as soon it is filled, throw the garbage and cover it with clean garbage bags. Odor should be avoided at all cost since it attracts the gnats.

  • In order to avoid moisture, make sure there are no leak pipes in or around the house.

  • If you notice the gnats bustling around a particular plant, then chances are the soil has become the breeding ground and it needs to be changed. Amending the garden soil will also improve drainage.

  • And most importantly, change the water in the birdbaths and other containers daily.

With these tricks and preventions, you can easily rid your garden of these nuisances and watch your plants grow in clean and thriving conditions.

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Additional Gnat Control References

How to Get Rid of Gnats Inside and Outside the House

How To Get Rid of Gnats - Southern Living

Annoying Black Gnats, You Bet Your Garden: Gardens Alive

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